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November 2020: Biden administration to contend with domestic challenges and obstacles to global reset

The Brief

Election Edition
November 11, 2020

The school's experts are analyzing domestic polarization and geopolitical obstacles that are playing out as President-elect Joe Biden transitions to the White House.

Dean Eliot A. Cohen addressed the ongoing cultural and political strife in the U.S. following the election in Johns Hopkins Hub, adding it “behooves all of us—no matter how right we think we are—to try to understand each other.” 
 
Joe Renouard, Resident Professor of American Studies, cautioned in a History News Network essay that “Americans should not expect to see a heightened sense of national unity or higher levels of satisfaction with the political system in the months to come.” 
 
Anne Applebaum, Senior Fellow of International Affairs and Agora Fellow in Residence, wrote in The Atlantic that President Donald Trump will continue to “discredit and demean the electoral system so that some Americans, at least, lose their faith in it.” 
 
Filipe Campante, Vice Dean and Bloomberg Distinguished Associate Professor of International Economics, explained in Folha International that the Republican Party’s down-ballot success will lead to it adopting a “scorched earth opposition strategy” toward the Biden administration. 
 
Yascha Mounk, Associate Professor of the Practice of International Relations, advised in The Atlantic that “the incoming administration won’t have a moment to lose in repairing the damage of the past four years and reestablishing America’s reputation in the world.” Read more 
 
John McLaughlin, Distinguished Practitioner-in-Residence at the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies, noted in his OZY essay that U.S. allies “will be looking to Biden to restore traditional relationships of trust and consultation.” 
 
Nina Hall, Assistant Professor of International Relations, wrote about the Biden administration potentially integrating climate policy across U.S. trade, foreign and national security policies in The Spinoff, emphasizing that his administration will also “put pressure on other countries to ramp up their climate actions.” 
 
David Lampton, Professor Emeritus of China Studies, predicted in South China Morning Post that Biden is likely to “attach importance to cooperating with Beijing on transnational issues such as climate change, global health and international economic management.” 
 
Christopher Sands, Director of the Center for Canadian Studies, discussed Biden’s potential approach to China with CBC, telling the outlet he will be “more careful in avoiding unnecessary escalation, and less likely to engage in the sort of brinkmanship that leads the superpowers down the path toward open conflict.” Read more
 
Kent E. Calder, Director of the Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies, told VnExpress he expects Biden to “broaden coordination beyond Australia, India, and Japan to other major nations, certainly including South Korea, and possibly Vietnam.” 
 
Sanam Vakil, James Anderson Adjunct Professor of Middle East Studies, commented in Time on the Israeli-Palestine conflict, noting that despite Biden’s decades-long relationship with Israel, Palestinian leadership sees his win as “an opportunity to return to the negotiating table.” 
 
Vali Nasr, Majid Khadduri Professor of Middle East Studies and International Affairs, previewed the future of U.S.-Iran relations in an essay for the Royal United Services Institute, predicting the Biden administration will revert to a “safe policy position on Iran” due to down-ballot gains by Republican candidates and uncertainty surrounding the transfer of power.” 
 

Additional election coverage

Dana Allin, Adjunct Professor of European and Eurasian Studies 
 
Anne Applebaum, Senior Fellow of International Affairs and Agora Fellow in Residence  
 
Nora Bensahel, Visiting Professor of Strategic Studies 
 
Hal Brands, Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor of the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs
 
Filipe Campante, Vice Dean and Bloomberg Distinguished Associate Professor of International Economics 
 
Ling Chen, Assistant Professor of Political Economy 
 
Dean Eliot A. Cohen
 
Henry Farrell, Agora Institute Professor of International Affairs 
 
Ho-Fung Hung, Henry M. and Elizabeth P. Wiesenfeld Professor in Political Economy 
 
Lisel Hintz, Assistant Professor of International Relations and European Studies
 
P. Terrence Hopmann, Professor of International Relations 
 
Pravin Krishna, Chung Ju Yung Distinguished Professor of International Economics and Business
 
Devesh Kapur, Director of SAIS Asia Programs 
Indian-Americans are seeing their political clout grow. 11/02
 
John McLaughlin, Distinguished Practitioner-in-Residence at the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies
Does the U.S. still interfere in foreign elections? 10/28
 
James Mann, European and Eurasian Studies Program Scholar-in-Residence
 
Yascha Mounk, Associate Professor of the Practice of International Relations
 
Vali Nasr, Majid Khadduri Professor of Middle East Studies and International Affairs
 
Thomas Rid, Professor of Strategic Studies
 
Christopher Sands, Director of the Center for Canadian Studies
 
Daniel Serwer, Director of Conflict Management and Director of American Foreign Policy 
COVID-19 and Trump’s polling prospects. 10/15
 
Steven Schneebaum, Interim Director of International Law and Organizations 
 
Sanam Vakil, James Anderson Adjunct Professor of Middle East Studies
 
The Brief highlights Johns Hopkins SAIS expertise on current events and is produced monthly by the Office of Marketing and Communications.